French Open 2023 Day 8 recap: Novak Djokovic records most QF appearances, and more

2023 French Open - Day Six
Novak Djokovic booked his place in the quarterfinals of the French Open

Day 8 of the French Open 2023 saw the fourth round of the singles tournaments begin.

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz both booked their spots in the quarterfinals with wins over Juan Pablo Varillas and 17th seed Lorenzo Musetti respectively.

Stefanos Tsitsipas set up a quarterfinal clash against Alcaraz by beating Sebastian Ofner. Khachanov will be Djokovic's opponent in the last eight after defeating Lorenzo Sonego.

In the women's singles event, Elina Svitolina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova booked their spots in the quarterfinals. That made this year's French Open the first-ever Grand Slam since the inception of the ATP and WTA rankings to feature two singles quarterfinalists ranked below 150 in the world.

Karolina Muchova and Aryna Sabalenka also booked their places in the last eight by beating Elina Avanesyan and Sloane Stephens respectively.

On that note, let's take a look at the talking points from Day 8 of the French Open.

#1 Novak Djokovic sets new record for most French Open quarterfinal appearances by a male player

Novak Djokovic's good form at the French Open continued as he beat Juan Pablo Varillas 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to book his place in the quarterfinals. The Serb has reached the last eight of the clay-court Major for the 17th time in his career, surpassing Rafael Nadal's tally (16).

Djokovic said in his postpmatch press-conference that while he was proud of his achievement, his focus was on his quarterfinal against Karen Khachanov.

"Well, I'm proud of it, but my attention is already in the next match. I mean, obviously quarterfinals, Khachanov, I know what my goal is here. I'm trying to stay mentally the course and of course not look too far," Djokovic said.

#2 Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi's controversial default

The women's doubles third-round clash between Miyu Kato/Aldila Sutjiadi, and Marie Bouzkova/Sara Sorribes Tormo gave rise to one of the most controversial moments of the 2023 French Open.

Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo won the opening set 7-6 (1) before Kato and Sutjiadi broke early in the second to lead 3-1. At this point, Kato unintentionally hit a ball towards a ballgirl, who was struck on the shoulder and looked visibly distressed.

Chair umpire Alexandre Juge initially gave the Japanese a warning before Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo insisted on their opponents' disqualification. Tournament supervisor Wayne McEwen then announced that Kato and Sutjiadi were defaulted despite the Japanese claiming that the incident was unintentional.

The 28-year-old reiterated via a Twitter post that she didn't mean to hit the ball girl and apologized to her.

"I would like to sincerely apologize to the Ball Girl, my partner Aldila&Team, & my supporters because of today's unfortunate mishap. It was completely unintentional," Kato tweeted.
"As a result, I am penalized by RG by forfeiting my prize money & points. I appreciate all your continued support."

#3 Daria Kasatkina gets booed by the crowd

Daria Kasatkina in action at the French Open
Daria Kasatkina in action at the French Open

Ninth seed Daria Kasatkina's journey in the French Open came to an end as she lost 6-4, 7-6 (5) to Elina Svitolina in the fourth round of the women's singles event.

Considering the match was between a Russian and a Ukrainian player, some post-match drama was expected. Ukrainian players have maintained the no-handshake tradition whenever they have come up against Russians in recent times.

After the match, Kasatkina came towards the net, looked at Svitolina and gave her a thumbs-up. The Russian was booed by the crowd for this, though the boos also displeased several fans.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman
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